Benefits of Reading A Wordless Book

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Our Background

My husband and I come from Puerto Rico, and we mostly speak Spanish in our household. My husband and I talked about raising our children Bilingual. We wanted them to speak Spanish in our home, and English outside of the home. Well, this did not turn out as we imagined. You see, it’s easy to imagine things when you are not a parent yet.

My husband and I have two children, my daughter A.I. who is 3 years old and my son A.J. who is 5 months old. A.I. has some issues with her pronunciation of words, sometimes she does not speak English or Spanish, she speaks a “jargon” that she created as a way to compensate her communication issues. English comes easier for her, so we decided to speak to her in this language most of the time, correct her pronunciation, and have her speak to us in complete sentences; even though its hard for her at times. She was evaluated by a Speech Pathologist who determined that there is no need for speech therapy at this moment. The Speech Pathologist recommended me to give her more time, and revisit if I am still concerned when she turns 4 years old.



Our Now

Ever since, I have been on the search for books where A.I. can learn how to express herself, and continue teaching her how to pronounce her words better. Thank goodness for my past teaching skills! Yes! I can use them now!

As a Barefoot Books Ambassador, I have a great variety of books at my reach, and one of them is Out of the Blue. Out of the Blue, released in 2014, is a wordless storybook by celebrated illustrator Alison Jay, where it tells the story of a young boy who lives in a lighthouse with his father and his cute dog and cat. After a ferocious storm, the boy discovers a surprise on the beach’s coast!

The first time I saw this gorgeous book, I literally fell in LOVE! My daughter was in awe of the gorgeous pages!

Benefits of Reading a Wordless Book

There are many benefits for a child to read a wordless book! Wordless books help stimulate the child’s literacy in a visual and expressive way. Here are some awesome skills that we worked on:

  • Develop visual literacy
  • Show a beginning, middle, end of a story
  • Creative thinking
  • Vocabulary usage
  • Increase her vocabulary
  • Accommodate her special communication needs
  • Made her do storytelling
  • Develop proper handling of a book
 

Today’s generation is constantly bombarded with visual images from the television, computers, tablets, video games, cell phones etc. A wordless book is a great way to slow down all the constant stimulation. Children need a break from the constant stimuli from these technological advances. A wordless book, it slows them down to really look at the details of the illustrations. It helps them analyze the images and helps them formulate their own ideas, and create their own story.

Reading Rockets’ published guide for parents when reading wordless books.  They emphasize that there are no “right” or “wrong” ways to read a wordless book. A great tip is to ask your child when reading a story are “W” questions like Where? Who? Why? When?, and to these, I would add What? How?

Sharing wordless books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension — and an increased awareness of how stories are “built,” as the storyteller often uses a beginning, middle, end format. For a book with few words, you’ll be surprised at all the talking you will do, and all the fun you’ll have!

Benefits of a Wordless Book for Children with Learning Difficulties

Health News Digest (June 7, 2011), wrote an article titled: “Books without text can increase literacy vocabulary skills in children with developmental disabilities”.  The article talks about the research conducted by Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University:

‘Compared to books with text, wordless books have been shown to increase literacy and vocabulary skills in toddlers with developmental disabilities, according to research…’

‘We found that when creating a story or just responding to pictures, the parent used many words and complex sentence structures while engaging with their child. That level of engagement wasn’t as present when reading books with text,’ said Gillam. ‘These results fall in line with the generally accepted belief that less structured activities, such as playing with toys or creating things with Play-Doh, elicit more productive language interactions between parent and child. These findings in no way diminish the importance of reading printed books, but incorporating interactions with wordless books is a way to build a more solid literacy foundation in children with developmental disabilities’.

 

The study also indicates that children who do not have developmental disabilities will also benefit from reading a wordless book.

As for our little A.I. and A.J., this awesome book will create and develop the literacy skills that will assist them in academic success. Out of the Blue has been a great addition to our family. Will it be for yours?

 

 

 

  1. Monika

    March 19, 2018 at

    Interesting read! Never would have thought about it 🙂

    1. Maria

      March 20, 2018 at

      Thanks! We learn something new every day 🙂

  2. Joniamac

    March 20, 2018 at

    Never really thought about the benefits of reading a wordless book. It is awesome that it allows kids or even adults to create their own story.

    1. Maria

      March 20, 2018 at

      We learn something new every day right? 🙂 I did not know this until I studied to be a Special Education Teacher during my Bachelor’s Degree. Thanks for stopping! 🙂

  3. Pam

    June 16, 2018 at

    Wordless books are so great for language development and other skills! I loved using them in the classroom when I taught.

    1. Maria

      June 16, 2018 at

      Thank you for your comment Pam!!! I LOVED this book! I used to be a teacher also! 🙂

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